Microsoft Word 2007 for Windows and Word 2008 for Mac save their files in a format that previous versions of Word cannot open. You’ll recognize them by their .docx filename extension. If you’re a Mac user and don’t yet have Word 2008, you can open these files from within Apple’s free TextEdit or Apple’s Pages ’08 application, and then save them in .rtf format for use in QuarkXPress and other applications.
This kind of workaround is necessary because Microsoft’s Open XML Converter for Office 2004 has now been delayed until June (maybe to encourage more people to buy Office 2008?). And unfortunately, their current beta version of the converter has significant problems converting graphics and maintaining document formatting.
If you need a more robust conversion tool today, here’s a good option: NeoOffice for Mac.
This open source application opens Word and Excel 2007/2008 documents with formatting intact, and costs nothing unless you choose to support the project with your donation.
Jeff Gamet is a contributing editor for Design Tools Monthly, the executive summary of graphic design news. He is also the morning editor and reviews editor for The Mac Observer and iPodObserver.com, and contributing writer for Layers Magazine and Photoshop User. He writes the InBrief column for InDesign Magazine, and is the author of “The Designer’s Guide to Mac OS X,” from Peachpit Press
When Jeff isn’t writing about the graphic design world, he’s talking about it on the Design Tools Weekly podcast with co-host Jay Nelson. He also talks about Apple and the Mac world every week on The Mac Observer’s Apple Weekly Report.
Jeff studies, tests and reviews new software and technologies for the Macintosh community as well as the design and print industries. He is a former Pre-press specialist, and has nearly 25 years experience with computer technology. Jeff trains, lectures and consults on techniques for more efficiently using Mac OS X in creative environments throughout the country.
In the rare moments when he can get away from his MacBook Pro, Jeff spends his time climbing and biking in the Colorado mountains.